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Danielle Hunter Nominated for Sportsmanship Award


EAGAN, Minn. — Another week, another designation for Danielle Hunter.

The NFC Player of the Week for his dominating performance (3.5 sacks, a 32-yard fumble return for a touchdown) against Detroit in Week 9 has been tabbed as the Vikings nominee for the 2018 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, the team and NFL announced Wednesday.

Hunter, a third-round pick in 2015, has maintained his humble nature as his success has increased.

Sportsmanship has run through Hunter's veins before they became so pronounced, dating back to youth league games when he helped opponents return to their feet after tackling them.

When Hunter was shown on the video board at U.S. Bank Stadium in the waning moments of Minnesota's 24-9 win over Detroit, teammates motioned for the crowd to give him a loud ovation, but Hunter encouraged teammates to stop their promotion.

Each of the 32 teams has nominated a player for the award, which recognizes "players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field" through "fair play, respect for the game and opponents and integrity in competition."

The award was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr.

The finalists will be evaluated by NFL Legends Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler. The panel will select four finalists from AFC teams and four finalists from NFC teams who will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot that players will use to cast votes on Dec. 14.

The winner of the fifth-annual NFL Sportsmanship Award will be determined by votes of current NFL players. From the eight finalists, each team's players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.

The player selected will be announced during the nationally televised NFL Honors show on Feb. 2, on the eve of Super Bowl LIII. The winner will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice and be presented with a trophy.

2018 Nominees

NFC North

Bears: Cody Whitehair

Lions: Don Muhlbach

Packers: Tramon Williams

Vikings: Danielle Hunter

NFC East

Cowboys: Dak Prescott

Eagles: Carson Wentz

Giants: Rhett Ellison

Redskins: Vernon Davis

NFC South

Buccaneers: Lavonte David

Falcons: Alex Mack

Panthers: Julius Peppers

Saints: Drew Brees

NFC West

Cardinals: Corey Peters

49ers: Joe Staley

Seahawks: Tyler Lockett


AFC North

Bengals: A.J. Green

Browns: Joel Bitonio

Ravens: Eric Weddle

Steelers: David DeCastro

AFC East

Bills: Kyle Williams

Dolphins: Frank Gore

Jets: Steve McLendon

Patriots: Matthew Slater

AFC South

Colts: Andrew Luck

Jaguars: Calais Campbell

Texans: Johnathan Joseph

Titans: Marcus Mariota

AFC West

Broncos: Domata Peko

Chargers: Antonio Gates

Chiefs: Sammy Watkins

Raiders: Derek Carr

Past winners

2017—Luke Kuechly, Panthers

2016—Frank Gore, Colts

2015—Charles Woodson, Raiders

2014—Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals